Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu




Malaysian ministers to take 20% pay cut: PM Anwar after chairing first Cabinet meeting

Malaysian ministers to take 20% pay cut: PM Anwar after chairing first Cabinet meeting

Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at a press conference on Dec 5, 2022 following the first Cabinet meeting of Malaysia's new government. (Photo: Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia/Afiq Hambali)

PUTRAJAYA: Cabinet ministers in Malaysia's unity government have agreed to take a 20 per cent cut in their monthly salaries, said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim after chairing his first Cabinet meeting on Monday (Dec 5).

They agreed to this out of concern for problems faced by the public, Mr Anwar told a press conference at the prime minister’s office.

“This is until the economy recovers. If the economy recovers in three years, we will review this. The cutting of salaries is not appropriate, but I thank them for their willingness to sacrifice a bit," he added.

“There are some people who say Anwar is not taking the prime minister’s salary, he will take the salary of the finance minister. That’s not right. There is only one salary."

Mr Anwar, who is also the finance minister, was flanked by deputy prime ministers Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Fadillah Yusof as well as Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali during the press conference at the prime minister’s office.

During the recent general election campaign, Mr Anwar pledged to forgo his salary in solidarity with the plight of the people.

The Cabinet line-up, which comprises 28 ministers, was unveiled last Friday.

It is leaner than the previous Cabinet, as Mr Anwar had earlier made clear his intention to downsize the team. He also said that he will do away with appointing Cabinet ministers as a form of reward.

The list of deputy ministers has yet to be announced.

The Cabinet led by former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had 31 ministers and 38 deputies.

Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, meanwhile, had 32 ministers and 38 deputies.

The Nov 19 election produced no clear winner, with neither Mr Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) nor Mr Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) able to secure a simple majority in the 222-seat Lower House.

PH won 81 seats while PN managed 73, putting both in a position to form the next government. A coalition needs to be backed by at least 112 lawmakers to form the next government. Both coalitions scrambled to gather support from BN, GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

BN, which finished a distant third, managed to win 30 seats. GPS won 23 seats while GRS emerged victorious in six seats.

The king had asked PH and PN to form a unity government, but the latter turned down the suggestion.

Following a meeting of the Malay rulers on Nov 24 regarding the political impasse, Istana Negara announced that Mr Anwar will be the next prime minister.

After being sworn in on Nov 24, Mr Anwar told reporters that the unity government comprises PH, BN and GPS. The government also included Parti Warisan Sabah, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance and other independent lawmakers.

A day later, he said that GRS also joined the unity government.


During Monday’s press conference, Mr Anwar also denied claims that he or the government had ordered the authorities to investigate those who criticised him.

He said that the investigations were carried out by the police on those who tried to incite racial or religious issues.  

“This cannot be compared to criticism towards the prime minister or towards the government.

“I have never instructed … I have told the inspector general of police that criticism towards the prime minister and the government is part of the democratic system. It is allowed and permitted just like how I have the right to answer when needed,” he said.

The chairman of the Conference of Rulers Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir had on Dec 1 said that all leaders must work towards putting an end to religious and racial extremism in the spirit of togetherness.

“I urge the new government to instil the spirit of togetherness among Malaysians. I hope there are no more leaders who will raise racial or religious issues to provoke the people,” Tuanku Muhriz was reported as saying by local media.

The Malaysian police had also warned social media users against sharing content that discussed sensitive issues involving race and religion.

Mr Anwar added that gaming companies will only be allowed to hold eight “special draws” for 4D numbers annually from next year, as compared to 22 during the administration of the PN government.

Mr Anwar also said that with the flooding season looming, Ahmad Zahid will chair the disaster management and flood preparedness committee

Mr Fadillah meanwhile has been tasked with expediting matters related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said Mr Anwar.

MA63 refers to the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners with Malaya as the original founders of the Malaysian federation in 1963.

When the federation was formed that year, the Malaysian Constitution listed the Borneo states separately from the rest, on par with Malaya spelt out in the agreement.

Source: CNA/ya(aw)


Also worth reading